Austin’s best contemporary gallery makes a modern jump onto Shopify

AO5 is Austin, Texas’ largest contemporary art gallery. Operating since 1998, the current owners purchased the gallery in 2019. They reached out to us in 2020 -- when the COVID-19 pandemic took over as the top news story across the world -- to help move them onto Shopify.

AO5 wanted their customers to be able to do more than just purchase art online. From browsing pieces, prices and looking up other specifications, their customers can choose to purchase online and have it shipped to their homes, pick up at their storefront or visit the gallery to learn more. They also wanted to showcase their experience in custom framing and offer online booking for custom framing consultations.

We produced a beautiful, easy-to-use Shopify site that does all that, plus integrates inventory management and accounting. Here’s how:

Services

  • Migration from AirTable
  • Ecommerce
  • EAP
  • Shopify POS

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Screenshot of A05 Gallery homepage

Ready for action

We started our AO5 Shopify project with an Able Sense Ecommerce Action Plan. Via this consultation, we really got to know their situation and their customers and discovered which components were most important to them. Having already worked with several art galleries on Shopify, we already had a good idea of what AO5 would need, but we needed to know more about what made their business unique.

Art gallery paintings

Customizing a pre-built theme

We used a pre-built Shopify theme to get AO5 up and running online quickly. Our selection needed to reflect AO5’s needs: a modern feel with opportunities to showcase their artists, their artists’ work, their brick and mortar store, and to be able to promote events and other news. Some items on our theme selection list included:

  • An attractive collection page for each artist
  • A cleanly-organized collection list page that features all their artists in one place
  • Customizable filters to allow AO5’s customers to search by their own specialized categories (e.g. Western film posters)
  • Unique page templates that draw special attention to their Custom Framing service
  • A frequently asked questions page

A05 website collections

Online bookings for custom framing

AO5 now offers customers the opportunity to book a time for their custom framing service online, either in person or virtually, from the comfort of their home.

A05 service listings

Migrating to an integrated POS

When we launched AO5’s new Shopify store, we also took a look at their accounting and inventory management systems. They had been using QuickBooks POS in their brick and mortar location, and managing their inventory with Airtable, so we migrated them over to Shopify POS. Now everything is all in one place and much easier to manage.

Close up of POS interaction

The Results

We launched the new AO5Gallery.com in September 2020, and set up Shopify POS in their brick and mortar location in Austin. AO5 has had to make some changes to work with Shopify but they are embracing them fully. The staff is now working with their easy-to-navigate, integrated system, and are already looking forward to taking advantage of some of the other Shopify features that are expected to roll out in the coming year, including installment payments so online customers can make payments towards larger pieces of art. It’s a beautiful thing.

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